Hay fever or allergic rhinitis is an inflammation of the nasal passage causing nasal congestion, sneezing and running nose. It is not the same as sinusitis and is not caused by virus. It is caused by allergens such as dust and pollen, which increase in levels during spring or the flowering season. It is called perennial allergic rhinitis if it persists throughout the year. People with lower immunity such as children and elderly are more prone to allergies due to hay fever.
Causes: Hay fever is caused by exposure to allergens such as weeds, grass, pollen, moulds and spores.
Diagnosis: Blood test and skin test to know the allergens .
Symptoms: Nasal congestion, sneezing and runny nose are common symptoms but in severe cases symptoms may include nose bleeding, itching and excessive tears in the eyes.
Treatment: The most common drugs prescribed to hay fever are antihistamines, decongestants, cortisone and nasal drops. However, using pharmaceutical drugs for longer periods can be harmful and cause drowsiness. Herbs can help reduce the duration of infection, improve immunity, increase energy levels and tend to have fewer side effects.
Drink ginger or liquorice tea. Ginger reduces inflammation and symptoms of cough. Liquorice is a well-known remedy of cough and congestion.
Drink Nettle tea and apply as lotion.
Drink Chamomile tea or calendula tea.
Steam inhalation of Thyme oil, Eucalyptus oil or Peppermint oil is beneficial.
Eat a clove of garlic every day. It is antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and safe to use.
Extract of Eyebright flowers is anti-inflammatory and antihistamine. It reduces the cough, sore throat, and is beneficial for asthma too.
Gingko provides immunity against allergens.
Butterbur improves immunity and reduce asthma symptoms.
Chickweed cream or juice of fresh plant is also beneficial.
Yarrow flower is diaphoretic and febrifuge, and can help treat some of the symptoms.
The extract obtained from horseradish roots is bronchodilator and antibiotic. It cleanses the nasal passage.
Cayenne, turmeric, Chinese skull cap, feverfew and lavender oil are some of the other remedies helpful in treating hay fever.
Contraindications: Butterbur and feverfew should be used under supervision of medical professional. Excess of Butterbur causes diarrhoea and in extreme cases it can damage liver also.